Polka Dot Cottage | Making stuff and telling you all about it since 2005

TWiP: Repurposed content

Posted January 24th, 2015 by

This Week in Pictures

Some of you have left comments recently telling me that you enjoy this weekly feature. Thank you! Me too 

The beauty of it for me is this: I spend time each week taking these pictures, writing what I am up to, and sharing on social media, which is nice but where does it leave my blog? At its busiest, this blog was the hub for everything I was up to. I miss that, but I don’t really have time to write full-blown posts every day anymore.

The perfect solution seems to be this one. I can repurpose that material I’ve been publishing all week, and keep my blog updated in one fell swoop. I love it!

And it’s great for those weekends when I’m too busy to write introductory blurbs (not the case, incidentally, on this particular weekend – right now I’m sitting on my bed, sipping coffee, listening to music, and looking out the window at the snowy trees).

On those overwhelming days, it’s perfectly acceptable to just say, “I’m so busy! Look at what I did all week:” and leave it at that.

Anyway. All of that to say, I love this feature and I’m glad some of you do too!

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot for my Project 365 (one image each day for all of 2015), plus some everyday-life snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

365: 2015 17/365 – I spent the day at a very enjoyable family gathering, during which time I probably should have taken my camera out of the bag. But I didn’t. So my daily picture is instead of what I did after the party: pajamas, pretzels, knitting, and an episode of Midsomer Murders.

Sunday

365: 2015 18/365 – Ice storm this morning, complete with warnings from the local OEM to stay off the slippery roads. Personally, I have no problem hanging out at home in my pajamas all morning…

Instagram: It’s an icy Sunday and nobody’s going anywhere… Who wants a sugar cookie?

Monday

365: 2015 19/365 – Well, despite my best efforts not to be moved, that “magic of tidying up” book made me fill up three big garbage bags of my clothes and shoes to be donated yesterday. I can’t remember the last time my closet space was used this efficiently.

Tuesday

Instagram: Hello, Tuesday morning.

Instagram: OK, maybe I didn’t fill the *whole* trunk, but I do think I am sufficiently stocked up for the next little while. 

365: 2015 20/365 – The USPS sort facility in Kearny NJ *finally* spat out a package I’ve been waiting for. That place is like a black hole for First Class Mail sometimes…

Wednesday

Instagram: Adventures in justification: sewing is the least important thing on my to do list, but I *can’t* get out of my gym clothes and do all of the other stuff on the list until my new shirt is ready to wear. Therefore sewing must come first. 

365: 2015 21/365 – One last shirt sewn today. That’s three new ones total for this season. I think it’s out of my system now. Whew.

Instagram: What? Doesn’t everybody take selfies perched on top of a cabinet to get the best light? PS. Finished #sewing my new shirt. PPS. The USPS finally delivered my new Scarfshop scarf yesterday 

Thursday

365: 2015 22/365 + Self Portrait Thursday – This is probably my last new shirt before I put the sewing machine away.

Instagram: Love that blue hour 

Friday

365: 2015 23/365 – You know you have a problem when your paper straw collection requires an organizational scheme.

Instagram: Me: we’re Instagramming! Him: you’re Instagramming, I’m tolerating. #teenagers

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on Flickr.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

Weekend Favorites

Posted January 23rd, 2015 by

We had Monday off this week, so Friday feels like it has come very quickly!

Images

The mosaic below represents other people’s pictures that spoke to me this week on Flickr and Instagram. Click on the titles below the mosaic to get a better look at the images and see more from the photographers who made them.

(Follow me?Flickr | Instagram)

Weekend Favorites at Polka Dot Cottage

  1. Mmmmmm! #fruit #healthy #berries #bre… by craftyhope via Instagram
  2. A red bird sits. #theredthread #winte… by saurand via Instagram
  3. We have company. #hellooverthere by meathwoman via Instagram
  4. Frosty morning, #Lowell by smithdrygoods via Instagram
  5. My lovely friend @nicolewise40 asked … by zuzu365 via Instagram
  6. Rough patch … This was an outtake f… by tarawanders via Instagram
  7. Dropped G off at a test day for a pos… by sunshineandgrey via Instagram
  8. humans by kristinemay via Instagram
  9. Good Morning! Belgian-chocolate coffe… by soupatraveler via Instagram
  10. Earlier in Cambridge :: Cake for elev… by xantheb via Instagram
  11. Clementine cake #mystillsundaycompeti… by gailo_oliag via Instagram
  12. I’ll have a cappuccino. by cindyloughridge via Instagram
  13. Rustic Rainbow Choker by MargitB. via Flickr
  14. Weaving circles :: There are no strai… by resurrectionfern via Instagram
  15. Another sneak peek at our #farmgirlvi… by fatquartershop via Instagram
  16. the most gorgeous orange sherbet cake… by designlovefest via Instagram
  17. 365.8 by rachellake via Flickr
  18. faces egg side 5 by jaelsjewels via Flickr
  19. 20/365 – 15 by moo o’hara via Flickr
  20. New curtains! by JonaG via Flickr
  21. Sadness flies on the wings of the mor… by Kat Eye View via Flickr
  22. Art in corners = home by sunshineandgrey via Instagram
  23. green day. by sfgirlbybay via Instagram
  24. The best days include a bench! #parkb… by saurand via Instagram
  25. After reading so many books last year… by lindsaycrandall via Instagram

Links

Here are a few interesting things from around the web that grabbed me this week:

  • VIVA LA COLORCOLOURLOVERS! – a photo project with xanthe berkeley. Xanthe’s Instagram photos are always catching my eye, and her use of bright colors is quite often the reason. Join Xanthe this winter as she focuses on a new color each week. There are still a few days left to snap something red!
  • Create a Personal Starting Ritual to Kick Start New Habits – a tip from Lifehacker. Having a hard time making a new habit stick? Why not preface it with something you enjoy? LH gives this example: “Getting dressed and having coffee transitions you from sleep to work. By establishing a more favorable personal starting ritual, you can make it easier to start a task you’re not yet in the habit of doing.”
  • DIY dipped kitchen jars – a project from This Little street. These are so adorable! I want to make a million of them.

Happy Friday!

Watching water boil

Posted January 22nd, 2015 by

Our stovetop tea kettle sprung a leak. I had no idea they could even do that! Putting aside, for a moment, the question of how icky the insides of that kettle might be (and by extension, the water I have been making my coffee with [ugh!]) I am left with a dilemma: what do I replace it with?

BW 25/30

I’m pretty sure Neil had this kettle before he had me. We’ve been married almost 20 years, so I would have to say it’s been a pretty good workhorse up until now.

I figured replacing it would be a fairly simple task: I’d hop online, pick out a cool color to match the kitchen and be done with it.

But no. There are a million different kinds of kettles out there, people! And they’re made out of a million different kinds of materials (porcelain, enamel, stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum, glass…), and those are just the stovetop kettles. Kitchen counter space being at a premium, I was all set to get another stovetop kettle, but I’ve been reading reviews and it sounds like electric might be a better way to go. They are more energy-efficient, they boil more quickly, and you can get ones that control the temperature so that the water is the best temp for your particular type of tea or for coffee. That appeals to me, since I like all kinds of hot drinks.

Morning 6/31 - Restocking

No matter what kind of kettle I pick, though, they all seem either super spendy, or they have terrible reviews. So before I drop $50 on a gadget to boil water, please can we talk about this?

Specifically, how do you boil water? Do you like your current method? If you use a kettle, is it stovetop or electric, and can you recommend the brand/style you have?

I did not expect replacing the tea kettle to be a “major purchase” but I was really surprised by the prices I was seeing. I have to be reasonably sure I am getting something that is going to last a while and will be a good fit for my kitchen. Thanks for helping me! Right now I am boiling water in the microwave, which is do-able but not ideal.

TWiP: Stitching

Posted January 17th, 2015 by

This Week in Pictures

Some weeks I don’t seem to get anything creative done. This is not one of those weeks. I’m knitting a sweater that is coming along nicely in the evenings, and by day I’ve been sewing.

For me, sewing at this point is really more about the finished product than the process. I don’t really love doing it, and once I’ve stitched up everything on my current list, I will be more than happy to pack the machine away again.

But then, I’ve always been somewhat of an end-result kind of person, impatient to be done with the process of making. It’s actually very surprising to me that I could enjoy knitting and crocheting so much. I mean, there are certainly faster (and cheaper) ways to get sweaters and blankets. I suppose as long as there are new stitch patterns to try, and new puzzles to work out, it will continue to captivate me.

Sewing, though? I think my sewing heyday has come and gone. At this stage, I just want to make things that are super easy and require as little fussiness (and as few pattern pieces) as possible.

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot for my Project 365 (one image each day for all of 2015), plus some everyday-life snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

365: 2015 10/365 – Neil and I found the down comforter in the attic last night, and this morning I woke up under a fluffy warm cloud.

Instagram: Tea and a book, under a fluffy down comforter. Happy Saturday morning ☺

Instagram: Good mail day

Sunday

365: 2015 11/365 – It’s Sunday, and I think it’s going to be all about the knitting today. Got a new sweater on the needles, and I’m eager to see the pattern progress.

Instagram: I love how fast it goes with bulky yarn

Monday

365: 2015 12/365 – I brewed up a new CD to listen to in the car.

Tuesday

365: 2015 13/365 – Fifteen inches has gone pretty quickly. I love it so far. Cables are cool :-)

Instagram: It’s official. @guster wins for coolest-looking CD.

Wednesday

365: 2015 14/365 – I’m really not in the mood to put this stuff away. I have to keep reminding myself that there can be no sewing in the dining room until the Christmas stuff goes away. I have fabric for two new shirts calling my name, so I think that may be just enough incentive…

Instagram: The good news is that the Christmas stuff is off of the dining room table. The bad news is that I’m about to clutter the place up with my sewing machine and assorted paraphernalia… #shortlivedcleanliness

Instagram: I think a red gingham flannel shirt will hit the spot nicely…

Instagram: Of the gingham and the floral, I made the floral top first. And then I changed out of my dumpy clothes so I could wear it. Now I wish I had somewhere nice to go

Instagram: That moment you realize there is such a thing as too much gingham. #sewing

Thursday

365: 2015 15/365 – I sewed two shirts yesterday, and I’m happy with this one. It fits in with my usual cold-weather uniform, plus it will work well in the summer with a pair of shorts, too. (P.S. Look at me, joining 2015 with the skinny jeans and boots, LOL!)

Friday

365: 2015 16/365 – Almost done with the back of my sweater (and my second ball of yarn).

Instagram: I *had* to have this fabric for kitchen linens. Its only taken me three years to sew four napkins

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on Flickr. (Or Instagram, too!)

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

Weekend Favorites

Posted January 16th, 2015 by

Do you remember last week when I said that I was going to try to also include my Instagram favorites? Well I figured out how to do it, but there was something I didn’t take into account: I favorite things very differently on Instagram than I do on Flickr.

When I favorite an image on Flickr, I do so specifically with the intention of sharing it here. If I like something but don’t consider it appropriate for the weekly mosaic (for whatever reason) I will choose to comment on the image rather than favorite it.

But on Instagram? Well, I am very free with the little heart button. I tap that thing for anything and everything that catches my eye for whatever reason, regardless of whether it meets the criteria for Weekend Favorites. That type of behavior is not going to work on a weekly basis. Just take a look at what this week’s mosaic would look like if I used all of the Instagram photos I liked:

Weekly Favorites - Instagram

Yeah. That’s a little bit out of control. It’s 102 photos, by the way.

Admittedly, this has been a very active Instagram week for me, and it won’t always be like this. But still. I’m re-thinking the sharing the Instagram favorites. That’s just Crazy Town!

You need many fewer images, if you have any hope of appreciating the beauty of them. They’re just too mushed together this way.

For now, let’s just stick with Flickr as usual…

Images

The mosaic below represents other people’s pictures that spoke to me this week on Flickr. Click on the titles below the mosaic to get a better look at the images and see more from the photographers who made them.

(Follow me?Flickr | Instagram)

Weekly Favorites - Flickr

  1. lemon sugar by friend 2 friend via Flickr
  2. Grand Canyon ❤ by Becky~Sue via Flickr
  3. untitled by jessica wilson {jek in the box} via Flickr
  4. Trying to make good on my “learn to crochet” resolution, … by TheFairView via Flickr
  5. 42012 by interchangeableparts via Flickr
  6. 42005 by MossyOwls via Flickr
  7. 7/365 – 15 by moo o’hara via Flickr
  8. Sala De La Musica_viewable by Edith Levy via Flickr
  9. 42009 by kelly ishmael via Flickr
  10. untitled by m i c h e l e j e n s e n [photography] via Flickr
  11. 42012 by kelly ishmael via Flickr
  12. A Late Afternoon Gondola Ride by pollylew via Flickr
  13. 159 | 365 by angiel via Flickr
  14. Macro Monday – Fruit by moo o’hara via Flickr
  15. How to seed a pomegranate by katerha via Flickr
  16. Polymer Clay necklace by Cecilia Leonini, Polymer clay ImpastArte via Flickr
  17. 12-365 – 15 by moo o’hara via Flickr
  18. Covered vase by jaelsjewels via Flickr

Links

Here are a few interesting things from around the web that grabbed me this week:

  • The Fabric Economy of Facebook Groups – from whileshenaps.com. Did you know that there are FB groups that function like online stores, and you can buy fabric through them less expensively than other venues? Abby Glassenberg heard about this and investigated further. In this blog post she shares what she learned, and wonders about the implications of buying fabric on Facebook. I can’t help but wonder if this phenomenon is limited to fabric or if there are similar groups for other types of craft supplies.
  • Liberate Your Art 2015 Postcard Swap – from Kat Eye Studio. I love this idea. You send in five post cards featuring images of your art, and receive back post cards with other swappers’ artwork on them. It’s open to all media. I think I might do it.
  • the creativity club – an idea from elsie marley. Meg says, “This isn’t supposed to be stressful, or another thing on your list. This is just something to mess around with, play with pens, cut some paper, make something without a freakin tutorial.” Sounds like fun. I’m in! #thecreativityclub

I will have to think about whether I want to change the way I do favoriting on Instagram so that I can include those images here, too, or whether I’ll just keep things as-is and stick with Flickr. Or, maybe I can come up with a third option. It’s something to think about anyway.

Have a lovely Friday!

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